A person cannot control what others will do or manipulate people to fulfill his or her personal dreams. Choosing to enjoy the holidays starts with choosing what can be done and being grateful for simple joys.
Envision Christmas Bliss
Before the hustle and bustle begin, write a list of what would make the holiday wonderful.
- Include activities with loved ones and friends that would make the seasons special.
- Replace what is too expensive with simpler wishes that are more affordable.
- Remember favorite past holidays and list what made each one special. List what of past favorites can be duplicated.
- Consider what brings inner joy, such as an intimate lunch, going to a Christmas concert, a special Christmas movie, a new Christmas book, or caroling with friends.
- Think of something to do for a needy person who can be a special project this year and do extra. For example, instead of simply getting jeans for a person on an angel tree, stuff each pocket of the jeans with coins, little gifts, notes, or a gift certificate. Giving to others triggers joy.
Look over the list and choose one or two items or activities that are do-able. Each day do one thing towards to reach the goals.
Avoid the Holiday Blues
Journal or list what was disappointing about past holidays. Consider ways to avoid the same problems.
If a certain person triggered hurt or arguments, choose to forgive the past hurts and move on more wisely. If possible, choose to avoid the same people this year. Otherwise, choose to respond to the person with kindness. Realize the person targets others with anger and insults out of inner pain. Respond with a comment that acknowledges concern for emotions that led to negative remarks or with a compliment that glosses over the insult and changes the subject. The Christmas bully can’t hurt someone who refuses to react to rudeness or attacks.
If the gifts received are disappointing, be more proactive this year. Don’t expect people to be mind readers. Create a wish list and pass it along or post it on Amazon or personal facebook wall. And then start savings for an after-Christmas shopping spree. Put aside one or two dollars a day to spend for the gifts not received. At Christmas this will have mounted to a tidy sum toward purchasing the desired item. Choose to be surprised by gifts given and be thankful the person cared enough to give something.
If loneliness appears to be on the horizon, counter it with activities. Enlist to help at a homeless shelter, hospital where volunteers are appreciated and kept busy. Or find others who may not have plans and make plans together. And make plans to bridge the distance of loved ones who are far away. Schedule an Internet chat, phone calls, and photo exchange.
If too much to get down is draining, then choose to do less. Decorate less, but use the most meaningful heirlooms. Buy more duplicate gifts to save time, or shop online more this year. And consider giving promises of gifting a person a few months later when there’s more time to shop, or possibly more available spending money. Cook less and join in a swap, but do cook one or two favorites. Simplify or eliminate whatever area is most stressful.
Set goals to lessen the stress triggers and work on these a few times each week.
Keep the goals posted and be mindful of what will create joy. Reflect on ways to focus on the meaning of Christmas. Each day list a Christmas blessing received, from watching a good movie to noticing how someone showed kindness. Anything beyond the list is a bonus and worth celebrating as a blessing.